The Fifth Key the th Path

The Magickal Title of this card is Magus of the Eternal Gods. The path of the Hierophant runs between Chesed (Mercy) and Chokmah

(Wisdom). It is "The Wisdom and Fountain of Mercy, the sphere of the Zodiac acting through Taurus upon Jupiter." This is a very masculine path—the uppermost path on the Pillar of Mercy. The Hierophant is an important link between the Higher Self (the Ethical Triangle) and the Spiritual Self (the Supernal Triad). It is a primary function of the Hierophant to tie together the Great Above to that which is Below. Thus the Hebrew letter assigned to it is Vav, or nail, an object which binds things together. Another aspect of the card has to do with teaching. In the Golden Dawn, the Hierophant is the Expounder of the Mysteries, who administers the Oath to the Candidate and confirms his/her initiation. His throne is in the eastern part of the Temple, the place of the Rising Sun, and he represents Osiris, the Slain and Risen God of Egypt (except when he moves about the temple, when he takes on the God-form of Aroueris, Horus the Elder). The Hierophant is the Great Teacher. It is only through the Hierophant, who acts as a lightning rod for the Divine Light, that one can understand the link between sensory experience and inner illumination. The Hierophant's lesson is not understood by the use of the intellect; it has to be felt and perceived. (The neophyte does not comprehend the initiation ceremony, yet he/she can certainly feel the energy being directed by the Hierophant.)

The Hierophant in this deck is enthroned upon a bull, the stable foundation of Taurus. The figure is shown wearing a triple tiara, a symbol of the Supernals, for whose light the Hierophant acts as a living channel. He is dressed in the black robe of the Outer Order, into which he descends for the purpose of teaching. Over his robe he wears a red tabard, which represents the flaming energy of the Divine Light. In one hand he holds the Banner of the East, which indicates the rise of the Light, and in the other hand he holds a crook, the traditional symbol of Mercy and of Chesed. He is illuminated by the Supernal Light which is Above. In his lap are the crown-headed scepter (the Hierophant's wand) and a scroll containing the Logos or Word of Creation. The background of the card is red-orange, the color of Taurus and the path of Vav. Nails are also shown behind the figure, drawing together the fragments of the Universe.

Interpretation in a Tarot Reading

Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching. Differing from, though resembling in some aspects, the meaning of the Magician, the Hermit, and the Lovers. Occult Wisdom.

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.

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